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October 2014 Trends Tracker

Click here to download the report (.pdf)

 

Trends Tracker

 

Introduction

Welcome to Blueshift Research’s and SurveyMonkey’s fourth edition of the Trends Tracker. This monthly business research survey tracks the opinions and actions on roughly 20 of the most pressing questions affecting U.S. citizens and their choices, as well as business and investment theses. These trends will be monitored to see how opinions evolve, and will be updated with new issues that emerge from Blueshift’s research and observations.

This Trends Tracker comprises 1,093 respondents who represent a general sample of the U.S. public. SurveyMonkey utilizes Census data to balance respondents by gender and age so that the sample aligns with the U.S. population. This month’s survey asked the same questions as in September.

 

Summary of Findings

  • Advertisements for mobile and digital wallets are popping up everywhere, boosting the number of eyeballs and adopters. We saw a dramatic increase in the adoption and daily use of mobile and digital wallets compared with the previous quarter. PayPal will be spun off of eBay Inc. (EBAY) in 2015 and has launched a large marketing campaign. Meanwhile, Apple Inc. (AAPL) has entered the wallet market and saw its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices pass 10 million unit sales. So far these efforts are having a rising tide effect on the sector.
    • Adoption of digital or mobile wallets exploded quarter the quarter, rising 28 percentage points, and is in the hands of 39.6% of our respondents. Daily use of the services increased 7 percentage points.
  • Cord-cutting, the kryptonite of cable companies, will continue to grow as more subscription-based and over-the-top (OTT) services emerge. Time Warner Inc.’s (TWX) HBO will allow viewers to subscribe only to its HBO Go streaming starting in 2015, while CBS Corp. (CBS) rolled out a subscription-based streaming service for $5.99 a month. This trend will perpetuate the move away from cable, specifically from cable’s largest group: those who subscribe to just the basic level.
    • Respondents’ cable use has declined 1% per month. The number of cord-cutters, 20%, grew 1.3 percentage points quarter to quarter. 33% of respondents subscribe to basic cable services, a drop of 4 percentage points.
  • GMO opposition continues to grow, and GMO labeling remains a must for more than 80% of our respondents. Multiple states will vote on GMO labeling in the midterm elections, and the bills have a high probability of passing. Monsanto Co. (MON) and other corporate giants like Starbucks Corp. (SBUX), Nestle S.A. (NSRGY) and The Coca-Cola Co. (KO) view this as a major threat and are suing Vermont, which already has passed a GMO-labeling law. If the corporate giants win, all will remain normal, but they could face an uphill battle if more GMO labeling laws are enacted.
    • Respondents who oppose GMO foods and will not buy the products grew 1.4 percentage points quarter to quarter, while those who oppose the products but still buy them grew 2 percentage points. Those in favor of GMO foods dropped significantly, by 16.7 percentage points, while those indifferent on the matter rose 13 percentage points to 38.1% quarter to quarter.
    • For the fourth straight month the majority of respondents (81%) voiced their support for GMO product labeling. This figure represents a 1-percentage point dip from the previous quarter.

 

Topics

1. Mobile and digital wallet use is on the rise.

The mobile and digital wallet sector is heating up. Respondents’ daily use and adoption have increased significantly compared with the previous quarter, up 7 percentage points and 28 percentage points, respectively. One major change is the upcoming spinoff of eBay’s PayPal, which could allow PayPal to be more nimble and create a bigger push into digital wallets. PayPal already is making some changes by releasing apps for Android tablets and by launching a massive marketing push, particularly on Hulu Plus. At the same time, Apple Pay is coming out swinging with deals with six of the largest banks, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo, as well as with McDonald’s and Whole Foods. Apple also allows app developers to integrate its software for payments. Apply Pay is getting exposure through the World Series, as both stadiums accept the service and other NFC chips. Lastly, Apple has sold more iPhone 6 and 6 Plus smartphones than expected, more than 10 million in the first week. Some industry commentators predict Apple’s entry in the digital wallets could have a rising tide effect; others expect Apple to dampen the competitive playing field.

Have you used a digital or mobile wallet in the last month?

  • Adoption of digital or mobile wallets exploded quarter to quarter, rising 28 percentage points, and is in the hands of 39.6% of the survey’s respondents.
  • Daily use of the services increased 7 percentage points quarter to quarter.
  • This is the first quarter in which another age group, 30- to 44-year-olds (44.1%), outpaced the youngest demographic, 18- to 29-year-olds (40.8%), in adopting these services.
  • All age groups have at least 30% of respondents adopting a mobile or digital wallet.
  • Adoption of mobile and digital wallets grows at a rate of 1.4% each month.

 Mobile-Payment-Infograph-October-14

 

2. Cord-cutting continues to gnaw away at cable subscriptions; more streaming services surface.

Cutting the cord continues to grow at a rate of 1% a month, and is affecting cable’s biggest subscriber group: basic cable consumers. Add-on services still are surviving the cord-cutting shift, but will face more challenges once HBO Go becomes a standalone option in 2015. Others are already following suit, with CBS launching a standalone service for $5.99 to challenge Netflix Inc. (NFLX). Also, News Corp.’s (NWS) Fox Sports is allowing users to stream the World Series live on computers and mobile devices. As more cable companies jump from cable to digital, it may be only a matter of time until more consumers cut the cord.

Do you use cable in your household?

  • 4% of respondents have cable with add-on services, a 1.5 percentage point increase since July. Those with basic cable, 33%, fell 4 percentage points quarter to quarter.
  • Cutting the cord is becoming more popular; cable use has fallen 1% per month. The number of cord-cutters, 20%, grew 1.3 percentage points quarter to quarter.
  • Those who have never had cable, 14.6%, grew 1.5 percentage points compared with our July survey.
  • Each age group—but especially those ages 30 to 44—had a rising number of respondents who have never had cable. Those ages 30 to 60 were the most likely to cancel their subscriptions.
  • Add-on services still have support across all age groups, but those 60 or older are leading the charge.

Cord-Cutting-Infograph-October 2014

 

 

3. GMO opposition growing, labeling a must.

Opposition to GMO foods has continued to press forward during the course of our four surveys thus far. The desire for GMO labeling remains stable at 81%. The threat of the pending GMO labeling law in Vermont is so considerable that Monsanto and other corporations like Starbucks, Nestle and Coca-Cola are suing the state to block it. GMO labeling bills will be on the November ballot in a few states, including Oregon and Colorado. The battle in Oregon has escalated; both sides have spent a collective $12 million. Respondents said they want the ability to say whether GMO products should be labeled and the option to avoid buying these products, perhaps portending the passage of such bills.

Are you opposed to buying GMO foods?

  • Respondents opposed to GMO foods and unwilling to buy the products grew 1.4 percentage points since July, while those who oppose the products but still buy them grew 2 percentage points.
  • Those in favor of GMO foods dropped significantly, 16.7 percentage points, while those indifferent on the matter rose 13 percentage points to 38.1% of respondents.
  • Those ages 44 to 60 have consistently grown in opposition of GMO foods at approximately a rate of 3.5 percentage points per month, to 44.6% overall. They represent the age group with the highest percentage of respondents opposing GMO products.
  • At least a quarter of all households are opposed to GMO foods and do not buy them. Those with household incomes of $50,000 to $99,999 are the most opposed (38.4%), a 3.4 percentage-point growth since July. Those with incomes of at least $150,000 have grown in numbers every month, up 13.5 percentage points.

GMO-infographic-October-14

 

 

Should GMO foods be labeled?

  • For the fourth straight month, most respondents (81%) voiced support for GMO product labeling. This figure represents a 1 percentage-point dip from the previous quarter.

 

4. Likelihood of wearable technology adoption is waning.

After all the excitement of the new Apple Watch last month, consumers’ interest in wearable technology appears to be dropping. More respondents than in the previous two months are not at all likely to adopt wearable technology during the next quarter. A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of 1,000 respondents showed that one in five U.S. consumers have a wearable device; this data includes action cameras like the GoPro, which are set apart in our data. Respondents’ suggestions for increasing the adoption of wearable tech included seamless integration with other devices, meaningful data, stress alleviation, privacy and security, and a focus on employers. Adoption will require change and innovation, which may mean skin-like patches, solar-embedded clothing, or medical tracking clothing. Approximately 80% of wearable tech users reportedly stop using the devices after six months.

How likely are you to adopt wearable technology in the next three months?

  • 3% of respondents are not at all likely to adopt wearable tech in the next three months, more than in August.
  • The number of respondents likely to adopt wearable tech dropped for those ages 18 to 29 and 60 and above, while those 45 to 60 years old voiced a greater likelihood, up 3.7 percentage points since August. Those 30 to 44 year olds maintained a similar adoption rate as in August.

 

5. Local grocery store chains dominate grocery market, specialty stores rise in popularity, and big-box stores suffer.

Six out of every 10 respondents use local grocery store chains to get their groceries. Although local grocery store chains remain a staple in consumers’ daily routines, specialty stores like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM) and Sprouts are starting to become more popular, particularly among those 45 or older and those with household incomes above $25,000. Big-box stores like Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT) are starting to slip in popularity among households with incomes of more than $25,000. This battle and shift over consumers can be linked back to organic produce, which is a key market that Walmart wants to join. Whole Foods plans to widen the gap with its first national ad campaign to shed its pricey image, but Walmart’s sheer size offers it the ability to drop prices and woo customers. Also, The Kroger Co. (KR) is rapidly growing its organics sections.

Where do you shop for most of your groceries?

  • Most respondents (61.8%) shop at local grocery store chains, similar to our August findings.
  • Specialty grocery stores now encompass 14% of the grocery market, a 2-percentage point increase over the last two months, while big-box stores dropped 2.5 percentage points over that time to 21.1%.
  • Younger customers, ages 18 to 44, are moving toward big-box stores, while those 45 and older are starting to shift to specialty grocery stores.
  • Specialty grocery stores are gaining customers from households that make more than $25,000, and are losing those that make less than $25,000. Big-box stores are gaining households that make less than $25,000, and are losing those that make more than $25,000.

 

6. Traditional radio dominates entertainment in cars, embedded systems adoption slowly rising.

Traditional radio continues its stranglehold on the car entertainment market. Embedded systems saw an influx in adoption as satellite use declined and smartphone use was stagnant. Satellite radio provider SiriusXM Holdings Inc. (SIRI) already may be feeling the effects of slowing adoption and the new fees it now must pay for music made before 1972. It has released a plan for a lower-tiered subscriptions at a one-year price of $49.95. This may help the company fend off new car infotainment features such as the Ethernet and Android systems.

How do you consume most of your entertainment in your car?

  • Traditional radio continues to dominate the market; 53.9% of respondents use radio more than other forms of in-car entertainment, the same as in September.
  • 4% of respondents consume entertainment through their embedded car system, a 1.3 percentage point increase since September. Satellite radio took a 1.6 percentage point dip to 12.5%.
  • Those 30 and older are increasing their use of embedded car systems, while smartphone use continues to be led by those ages 18 to 29. Since September, satellite radio use decreased among those 30 to 44 and those 60 and older, but increased 1 percentage point and 3.4 percentage points, respectively, among those 45 to 60 and 18 to 29 years old.

 

7. Solar power adoption stutters.

After seeing a slight uptick in solar power adoption in July, Blueshift more recently found a 2.6 percentage-point dip in the use of this power source. The likelihood of consumers adopting solar dropped significantly quarter to quarter among lower-income families but is expected to improve during the next six months among households with incomes of $150,000 or more. EnviroMedia offered a reason for an adoption slowdown: a lack of knowledge of the true cost of solar. Seventy percent of respondents said price was a main factor for not adopting solar, but 67% said they were very or somewhat interested in installing solar after learning about solar leasing and the plummeting related costs. NRG Energy Inc. (NRG), the sixth largest residential installer during the first half of 2014, is actively acquiring other solar companies to make solar affordable for the general public. SolarCity Corp. (SCTY) offers leasing and power purchase agreements for residential installments.

How likely are you to adopt solar power in your home during the next six months?

  • The likelihood of adopting solar in the next six months fell 2.6 percentage points compared with the previous quarter.
  • Roughly the same rate of respondents (3.1%) already has adopted solar power in their homes.
  • All age groups, except those 60 or older, were less likely to adopt solar power than in July. The likelihood in the oldest age group remained stable around 27.3%.
  • Those with income $150,000 or more are 2.8 percentage points more likely to adopt solar compared with July.

 

8. Electronic cigarettes grow in popularity as less consumers use tobacco

After adding two potential responses—pipes and hand-rolled cigarettes—to our survey, we saw a slight increase in the number of nonsmokers, who remain the vast majority of our respondents at 82.6%. Of the remaining 17.4% who use tobacco (roughly the same as the 18% reported by the CDC), they prefer prepared, regular cigarettes, followed by electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs. This is the first time that e-cigs have been in a high position. As e-cigs rise in popularity, particularly among minors, they also may help to decrease their market by being the most effective method by which to quit smoking. Also of concern for e-cigs are state laws banning sales to minors. A smaller smoking demographic spells disaster for companies like Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) and Altria Group Inc. (MO) unless they can get a share of the e-cig market. Avalanche International Corp.’s (AVLP) Smith & Ramsay has embraced change by rolling out a line of eLiquids for vaporizers.

How do you smoke most of your tobacco?

  • 6% of respondents do not smoke tobacco products, a 0.7% rise since August.
  • Cigarettes are the preferred method for consuming tobacco among 57.5% of users, a 9.4 percentage-point decrease from two months ago. This decline was caused partially by the 5.6% of tobacco smokers who favor hand-rolled cigarettes, a new survey response this month. E-cig use is up 4.4 percentage points since August but down 0.8 points since September.
  • Those ages 18 to 29 and with household incomes below $25,000 still are the most common tobacco users.
  • E-cig use rose in all age groups from two months ago, as well as in households making more than $150,000, which increased to 5.7% from 0 in the same timeframe.

 

9. Support for recreational marijuana usage climbing.

Legalization of recreational marijuana continues to gain support as voting on the matter will take place Nov. 4. Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C., will be the next to vote on this issue, while Florida voters will decide on medical usage. The most recent polls have shown support by 43% of respondents in Alaska, 63% in D.C., 52% in Oregon and 48% in Florida (a decline from the 55%-plus support seen in earlier, multiple polls). The political arm of Oregon’s Sheriff’s Association is funding opposition of the measure, but a sheriff in Washington state urged Oregon voters to pass the measure based on the decline in his state’s DUIs and the increase in money going to police forces and schools. In Delaware, legalization of recreational use already has 56% support even though the topic will not be on ballots until 2016. These measures have a good chance of passing but will rely on voters making it to the polling places.

What should the law be regarding marijuana use?

  • 9% of respondents believe marijuana should be completely legal, a 2.4 percentage point jump compared with the previous quarter. Legal medical use and low punishments also received a 2 percentage-point increase, while support for control on a state-by-state basis dropped 4.3 percentage points. Support for steep punishment related to marijuana use and possession fell 1.6 percentage points to a minimal 5.1%.
  • All age groups except those 45 to 60 years old have increased their backing of legalization, lead by those 18 to 29 years old.
  • Higher-income households also are increasingly in support of legalization. On the other hand, those in the lowest income bracket showed less support quarter to quarter.

 

10. Console gaming is escalating; smartphone gaming posed for an explosive 2015.

Computers continue to lead the gaming pack, but the gap is shrinking and console gaming interest is on the rise. Smartphone/mobile gaming has fallen slightly quarter to quarter among respondents. Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT) Xbox One saw sales gains ahead of Sony Corp.’s (TYO:6758) PS4 for the first time, thanks to lower prices. Still, Sony’s PS4 saw a massive 200% increase in sales year to year and will try to continue this pace with the pending launch of its slim PS4 version. Mobile gaming is expected to surpass console revenue sales in 2015; the platform has a key advantage of being portable and in the pockets of nearly every U.S. citizen.

How do you play the majority of your video games?

  • Computer gaming still is the most common form (15.7%), followed by smartphone gaming (13.8%) and console gaming (12.7%). Console use saw a 1 percentage-point increase over the previous two months, while use of all other gaming forms was relatively steady.
  • 18- to 29-year-olds dominate console and smartphone gaming, while tablet gaming is being lead by those 45 and older.
  • Those with household incomes $50,000 and below are leading the console gaming market. Those with incomes of $25,000 and above, specifically $50,000 to $99,999, are leading the smartphone gaming market.

 

11. Verizon continues to dominate the mobile carrier market, but AT&T is slipping.

Consumers remain loyal to Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ). AT&T Inc. (T) retained its No. 2 spot among respondents but dropped 5.4 percentage points compared to September. Wireless carriers are constantly jockeying for position through innovation. AT&T now offers more data on its shared plans, which both Verizon and Sprint Corp. (S) have mimicked. T-Mobile US Inc. (TMUS) is taking a slightly different route by beefing up device security for its customers. Apple’s new iPhone 6 SIM card allows a choice of wireless carrier, which makes switching providers even easier. Carriers still have initiatives in place to lure customers away, such as payment of early termination fees.

Who is your current wireless carrier?

  • Verizon sits atop the wireless carrier market with 37.7% market share, a 2 percentage-point gain from September. AT&T took a 5.4 percentage-point drop, but retained the No. 2 spot. T-mobile gained 1.8 percentage points to take the third spot from Sprint.

 

12. 11main.com opens its doors, but receives minimal use after massive IPO exposure.

After its IPO last month, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) finally let U.S. consumers sign up for 11main.com. Still, this site is relatively unknown in the United States. The same number of respondents (1.7%) had heard about the site as in July. This lack of exposure also is seen in 11main.com’s 1,226 Facebook “likes,” as of Oct. 21, compared with Amazon.com Inc.’s (AMZN) massive Facebook following of 25,444,768.

11main.com is trying to entice consumers to use its platform over Amazon and other competitors by offering to cover up to $5 of USPS shipping costs on all purchases through Dec. 1 (Cyber Monday). Also, 11main.com only allows merchants from the United States to sell on its site, giving it a competitive edge over eBay with merchants.

Have you heard of 11main.com?

  • 3% of respondents had not heard of 11main.com, even after parent company Alibaba went public two months ago. This percentage is in line with respondents’ answers in July.

 

13. Facebook platform shows a chink in its armor.

Facebook Inc. (FB) continues to dominate the social media space, but the number of respondents using the site fell by 1.1 percentage points quarter to quarter. Our survey respondents are at least 18 years old, but other polls have shown that teens, a key advertising demographic, are abandoning Facebook at an alarming rate. A recent Washington Post poll showed Facebook use among teens dropping from 72% in the spring of 2014 to 45% this fall, and flocking to Facebook’s other platform, Instagram. Respondents’ comments show that LinkedIn Corp. (LKND) is more popular than Twitter Inc. (TWTR), which was also expressed by BI Intelligence. Social media sites are starting to sell data to advertisers, and more users are seeking out an ad-free zone. Ello is a new social media site that currently is invitation-only, but promises to be ad-free. It is used by 0.2% of our respondents.

Which social media platform do you use the most?

  • Facebook remains the most used social media platform (57.2%) among respondents, but took a 1.1 percentage-point hit quarter to quarter. Pinterest had the biggest gain, up 2.1 percentage points, while Google Inc.’s (GOOG/GOOGL) Google+ dropped 0.8 percentage points.
  • Instagram lost some of its 18- to 29-year-old users, down 1.6 percentage points quarter to quarter, but gained users ages 30 to 44 as well as those 60 and older. All age groups but those 18 to 29 had decreased their use of Facebook. Those 45 and older had decreased their use of Google+. LinkedIn gained 0.9 percentage points of users ages 18 to 29.

 

14. Apple dominates the smartphone market with its new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Apple has retained its dominant position in the smartphone market, growing its share 2.2 percentage points since our July survey on the back of its new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices. Although the release was plagued with videos of consumers bending their new iPhone 6 Plus, Apple still sold a record 10 million-plus in the opening week, and is working hard to meet demand by ramping up production. In other news, Microsoft is ditching the Nokia brand name, changing its new phone from Nokia Lumia smartphones to Microsoft Lumia. Also, Sony recently announced that its new Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact smartphones will have a battery that lasts two days.

Who made the smartphone you currently own?

  • Apple remains the dominant smartphone in the market with 35.7% of consumers, a 2.2 percentage-point increase over the quarter. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.’s (KRX:005930) share remained flat at 21.7%.
  • Google smartphones are picking up some steam, growing 1.3 percentage points from 0.2% in the previous quarter. Lenovo Group Ltd.’s (HKG:0992) Motorola Mobility decreased 1.8 percentage points since July.
  • The smartphone market itself grew 2.3 percentage points quarter to quarter; now roughly 80% of U.S. consumers own a smartphone.

 

15. Consumers will not hold back on robot-assisted surgeries, but concerns have been raised.

Robot-assisted surgeries still are largely accepted among respondents (81.3%), but we noted a 1.9 percentage-point dip in those who are comfortable with such procedures. Respondents’ comfort levels may have been dampened by rising costs and a small increase in intraoperative complications, as found by one study. Meanwhile, Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG), the maker of the da Vinci robot, just reported earnings, which included selling 10 more robots and a 10% revenue increase year to year. Such growth can be seen in institutions like Palos Community Hospital, which just performed its 500th robot-assisted surgery in two years.

How comfortable would you be with a doctor using a robot to assist in your surgery?

  • Those uncomfortable with robot-assisted surgeries rose a minimal 1.9 percentage points quarter to quarter.
  • 2% of respondents are comfortable with robot-assisted surgery, including 15.4% (a 1.3 percentage-point increase over the previous quarter) who are extremely comfortable with the option.
  • 9%, the largest grouping, are moderately comfortable with robot-assisted surgery.

 

16. Living habits continue to improve but at a decreased rate than in July.

Respondents continue to improve their living habits but at a decreased rate than in July. Also, the number of respondents who reported a decline in their living habits has increased. Still, most respondents are maintaining or improving their living habits. Blueshift observed healthier snacks prominently displayed in a Sheetz convenience store in Pennsylvania over the usual candy display, providing evidence that companies are responding to consumer demand. McDonald’s is taking the biggest hit, particularly in its revenue, from consumers’ changing habits, and is trying to regain lost momentum through new products, which eventually could include organics. It already uses organic milk and juices in Germany and France. With winter on its way, gyms will start to see an influx of bodies flocking to their facilities, including federal workers.

Compared with six months ago, how have your living habits (diet, exercise, sleep, etc.) changed?

  • 5 times the number of respondents are improving the living habits as those who have decreased their living habits compared with six months ago, but this ratio has dropped quarter to quarter.
  • 4% of respondents said they had improved their living habits, a 5.5 percentage-point decrease from the previous quarter.
  • 18% of respondents said their living habits had declined, a 4.6 percentage-point increase.

 

17. Slow or delayed Internet is so last quarter.

For the first time in four months, we saw a decline in the number of respondents reporting slow or delayed Internet speeds. This development is corroborated by a quarterly report done by Internet infrastructure provider Akamai, which revealed that all but two states (Rhode Island and Nevada) experienced an increase in Internet speeds during the first two quarters of the year. Also, Netflix’s direct connection to Verizon’s network has topped the speeds of all other Internet services for the platform. Many Netflix customers had expressed problems with delayed services in past months, and this may help elevate the problem.

Are you having more problems with slow or delayed Internet compared with six months ago?

  • 7% are experiencing slow or delayed Internet services, a 1.9 percentage-point decrease quarter to quarter.

 

18. First-time homebuyer numbers jump in October.

The housing market has remained stable quarter to quarter. However, demand from first-time buyers shot up 9 percentage points compared with the previous quarter and 11 points month to month. These consumers continue to face competition from investors and foreign buyers. Our numbers showed a slightly higher number (36.8%) of first-time homebuyers in the market in September than the 29% presented by the National Association of Realtors. This difference is due to the six-month range we provide as a comparison. Some industry experts expect the number of first-time homebuyers, mostly those ages 25 to 35, to decrease in light of a tough economic environment. However, new and revised housing programs may help offer assistance to both first-time buyers and veterans.

Are you looking to buy a home in the next six months?

  • Roughly 8.6% of respondents expect to look for a home in the next six months, relatively the same as the number as in July.
  • However, the percentage of first-time homebuyers shot up to 47.7%, a 9 percentage-point increase since July.

 

19. Confusion surrounds the United States’ economic prospects.

Respondents remain split and confused on the country’s economic prospects, and hold neither major political party responsible. In contrast to the confusion in the general public, Wall Street is seeing a positive signal as unemployment claims dropped to their lowest level since 2000 and industrial output exploded in September. Economic growth could be held back by the United States’ link to China’s economy, which grew 7.2% from July to September—down from its 7.5% growth the year before and its slowest pace in five years.

Do you think the United States’ economic prospects are improving or declining, and which political party, if any, is responsible?

  • Respondents continued to be split in their opinions on the country’s economic prospects; 50.4% think the economy is improving, while 49.6% believed it is declining.
  • 8% of consumers do not believe either party is responsible for the economic prospects.

 

20. The anti-vaccination movement remains miniscule.

94.9% of respondents believe children should be vaccinated. Many U.S. citizens have taken to blogs to urge parents to vaccinate their children; even politicians are promoting flu shots. The anti-vaccination movement is up 0.6% compared with August and is in line with the small pockets of anti-vaccinators popping up around the country, according to the CDC. Younger respondents were more likely to believe that children should not be vaccinated; they may be more easily swayed by celebrity endorsers like Rob Schneider, whose State Farm ad was removed because of his vocalized beliefs.

Should children be vaccinated?

  • Support for not vaccinating children rose 0.6 percentage points compared with August, to 5.1% of respondents.
  • Those ages 18 to 29 are the most likely to not support childhood vaccinations. Those 45 to 60 years old also are growing in opposition.

 

21. Fitness, NFL, Uber and RetailMeNot are some apps being adopted by respondents.

What apps/mobile games are you using now that you were not using a month ago?

 

22. PayPal in stores, solar power, Ello, and people leaving social media, specifically Facebook, are some of the trends pointed out by respondents.

What is the most interesting new trends you have seen in the last month?

  • Respondents have appeared to have their ears to the ground in terms of trends, and this month’s mentions were no different: Ebola, gas prices dropping, climate change awareness, Tinder, e-cigs, Ello, wearables, iPhone 6, Apple Pay and digital wallets, gluten intolerance, marriage equality, solar power, people leaving social media and Facebook, boots, drones, PayPal in stores, real-time data being sent to medical providers, and connected homes.

 

 


 

Analysis by Mason Rudy